Aug 3, 2020
The Families Forward Learning Center offers a two-generation learning program for low-income families with children from birth to 5 years old in Pasadena, California. This report summarizes a mixed-methods evaluation of the program that used retrospective interviews with former participants to elicit their perceptions of the program as well as analyses of student kindergarten and third-grade educational outcomes.
The Families Forward Learning Center (FFLC) offers a two-generation learning program for low-income families with children from birth to 5 years old in Pasadena, California. The program aims to prepare participants—mothers and their children—to succeed in school and life. This report summarizes a mixed-methods evaluation of the program that used retrospective interviews with former program participants to elicit their perceptions of program benefits, as well as analyses of student kindergarten and third-grade educational outcomes.
Nearly all mothers experienced benefits for themselves and perceived benefits for their children and/or families that exceeded their expectations. Mothers reported they benefited from English lessons, other educational and professional opportunities, parenting lessons, access to mental health and other social services, increased social capital, increased engagement in their children's education, and learning about nutrition.
Analyses of Pasadena Unified School District data suggest several positive short- and longer-term effects on educational outcomes for FFLC students compared with demographically similar peers. FFLC students had statistically significant higher attendance and reduced chronic absenteeism in kindergarten, though the effects appear to diminish by third grade. FFLC students also demonstrated meaningfully higher scores on English Language Arts and mathematics assessments in third grade. These findings should be viewed cautiously as preliminary evidence of program impacts because of potential unobserved differences in the families that participate in FFLC. The report concludes with implications for program leadership concerning ongoing programming and FFLC's impact on participating families.
Study Data and Methods
Conclusions and Implications
Participant Interview Data Collection and Methods
Student Outcome Analysis Methods